Local poetry events in April/National Poetry Month

Thanks to Carla Christopher for posting this roundup of April’s local poetry events to her Facebook page:

TODAYReading and reception to welcome York’s new poet laureate, Christine Lincoln, 6 p.m. April 1, CityArts, 118 W. Philadelphia St., free

FridayWriter’s Eye Poetry & Writing Competition Awards Reading, 6 p.m. April 4, YorkArts, 10 N. Beaver St., free

April 13: Second Sunday Writing Critique Group, 2 p.m., Windsor Commons, Giant Cafe, Red Lion, bring 6 copies of a poem, free

April 18It’s NOT the King’s English: Poetry Showcase & All Genre Open Mic feat. Michael Czarnecki, Randolph Bridgeman & Melissa Carl, 7 p.m., King’s Courtyard Artists’ Collective, 124 E. King St., by donation

April 19Soulful Saturday: Spoken Word Showcase feat. Talaam Acey w/ 2013 Jawstruck & Capital City Slam Champion Dustin Nispel, 717 Music Awards Poet of the Year Sankofa the Poet, TruNDeed & Quiet Storm, 8 p.m., York Social Dance Studio, 324 W. Market St.,  $10/$5 for open mic’ers

April 25Poetry at Parliament: Poetry feature, Lexi Spino, and open mic, 7:30 p.m., The Parliament, 116 E. King St., free

Most local poetry events are free or by donation, so head out and support your neighborhood poets in honor of National Poetry Month.

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American Life in Poetry No. 471

by Ted Kooser

Despite having once been bitten by a rabid bat, and survived, much to the disappointment of my critics, I find bats fascinating, and Peggy Shumaker of Alaska has written a fine poem about them. I am especially fond of her perfect verb, “snick,” for the way they snatch insects out of the air.

Spirit of the Bat

Hair rush, low swoop—
so those of us

stuck here on earth
know—you must be gods.

Or friends of gods,
granted chances

to push off into sky,
granted chances

to hear so well
your own voice bounced

back to you
maps the night.

Each hinge
in your wing’s

an act of creation.
Each insect

you snick out of air
a witness.

You transform

into sounds,
then dodge them. Continue reading “American Life in Poetry No. 471” »

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April Poem of the Month contest

For April, the Poem of the Month prompt is a special one, because April is National Poetry Month. So, in addition to my read-a-poem-a-day challenge, my blogging in April will focus on poetry of place. Therefore, the contest prompt is: Write a poem about York. Your poem can be about the city, the country, a specific building, landmark, park, business or person. As long as York County is recognizable in your poem, anything goes. Tell the world where you’re from, in a poem.

When your poem is finished, copy and paste it as a comment on this post. Be sure to include the poem’s title, your name and your York County, Pa., township of residence.

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Culture and Main, episode 50

Episode 50 (original airdate 2/27/14) Music by Kris Kostoff / Art by Paul Kicklighter / Children’s Poet, Mike Sgrignoli / Flash Fiction by Christian Thiede

What did you think of episode 50?

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York well-represented on PA Poetry Society 2014 contest’s winners’ list

papoetrysocietyYork’s outgoing poet laureate, Carla Christopher, placed first out of 81 entries in the grand prize award category of the 2014 Pennsylvania Poetry Society’s poetry contest for her poem “selective memory (mosaic).”

Christopher’s poem “Hiking Toward Sunrise” also took first place in the Deanna Spurlock Honorary Award category, out of 27 entries. Continue reading “York well-represented on PA Poetry Society 2014 contest’s winners’ list” »

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Gettysburg College to host award-winning poet Edward Hirsch April 2

Poet Edward Hirsch will read at Gettysburg College April 2.

Poet Edward Hirsch will read at Gettysburg College April 2.

Poet and MacArthur Fellow Edward Hirsch will give a poetry reading 8 p.m. April 2 in the Lyceum of Pennsylvania Hall (near the intersection of West Stevens and North Washington streets) on the Gettysburg College campus.

A book signing and reception will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public.

Hirsch is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently “The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems” (2010), and five prose books. According to a press release, Hirsch “has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, amongst other awards.”

For more information about the reading, contact the Gettysburg Review at 717-337-6774 or via email at ehathawa@gettysburg.edu.

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American Life in Poetry No. 470

by Ted Kooser

Considering that I’m a dog lover, I haven’t included nearly enough dog poems in this column. My own dog, Howard, now in his dotage, has never learned a trick of any kind, nor learned to behave, so I admire Karla Huston for having the patience to teach her dog something. Huston lives in Wisconsin.


The cruelest thing I did to my dog
wasn’t to ignore his barking for water
when his tongue hung like a deflated balloon

or to disregard his chronic need for a belly rub
but to teach him to shake hands,
a trick that took weeks of treats, his dark eyes

like Greek olives, moist with desire.
I made him sit, another injustice,
and allowed him to want the nuggets enough

to please me. Shake, I said. Shake?
touching the back of his right leg
until he lifted it, his saliva trickling

from soft jowls, my hand wet with his hunger.
Mistress of the biscuit, I ruffled his ears
and said good dog until he got it. Before long,

he raised his paw, shook me until he got
the treat, the rub, the water in a chilled silver bowl,
the wilderness in him gone, his eyes still lit with longing.

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. Poem copyright ©2013 by Karla Huston from her most recent book of poems, A Theory of Lipstick, Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Karla Huston and the publisher. Introduction by Ted Kooser copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation.

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Culture and Main, episode 49

Episode 49 (original airdate 2/20/14) Music by AD Chandler / Poetry by former Lancaster Poet Laureate, Daina Savage and Iris G Press Publisher, Le Hinton / Photographer, John Stump

What did you think of episode 49?

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Today is World Poetry Day!

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognizes March 21 as World Poetry Day.

According to the website, “In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind … One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.”

World Poetry Day is also meant to honor the oral traditions of poetry, as well as the intersections of poetry with other arts like music and dance.

Will you celebrate World Poetry Day, and if so, how?

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Culture and Main, episode 48

Episode 48 (original airdate 2/13/14) The Faces of York County Art; A Gallery Tour with Brenda Wintermyer / Leather Craft by Daryl Heinle / “The Craft Sisters”; Donna and Diane

What did you think of episode 48?

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